Friday, March 14, 2014

you truly are the center of the universe !

now before I write anything, I want to clarify the title, its not intended to be cheesy or be poetic or whatever, no drama, this is a fact. you can check out the details in this really long (58 mins) talk by Prof Lawrence Klaus which shows why and how this is true for the observable universe. (roughly 48 billion light years in any direction from us*)

The "you" here is the individual reading the article, it simply assumes there is an observer who is the you, and by center I mean the physical location with respect to the boundaries of the observable universe.

anyways, enough about the title, now to the elaborate in a manner that could explain without needing to know anything about theoretical physics or astronomy or whatever.

so we have eyes, eyes that can see light, light coming from far away objects, in the sky, distinct stars, light years away going all the way up to the plasma of the big bang beyond which light could not penetrate. So these eyes are designed to only see up to a very small spectrum of this particular light, what we call the visible spectrum of electromagnetic radiation. So yeah we see very little of this light . Also the stuff we see, gets red-shifted away from us due to the rapidly expanding universe we live in. Red shifted means , the light waves get so dark for us that we cannot see them anymore, but telescopes that can account for this redshift can see them. Now studying all the images from these rapidly moving away galaxy stars, physicists have calculated the rate at which the galaxies are moving away from each other and effectively us.
They realized a peculiar problem , everywhere they looked, they saw that the galaxies twice the distance away are moving twice as fast away from us, and it makes it appear as if we are the center of the universe and everything rapidly accelerating away from us, in a trillion years, everything will be too far away from each other that, each galaxy would be so far away from each other that light from one would get red shifted to zero because the space in between them would begin to expand faster than the speed of light. causing light to never catch up, which is really messed up if you think about for a minute. So to sum it up, you as the reader are truly the center of your observable universe because light entering your eyes seems to be coming from stuff thats all flying away from you giving you the illusion that you are the center of the universe. actually it makes every galaxy in the universe believe the same thing.  Hold that thought out for the first guy who discovered this, he must have scratched his head and said to himself .."uhm, thats odd, she was right , she truly is the center of the universe "(while referring to his wife) and so was he himself the center of the universe from the point of view from his eyes.,
sigh, what a crazy thought,

I am going to come back to this one and start adding references to external sources for most of the stuff I have claimed here as facts.

so next time your wife tells you she is the center of the universe, she is probably right ! and remember so are you.

Notes:

*if you are wondering how we know the universe is 40 something billion light years in any direction when the universe is only supposed to be 13.7 billion years
well the reason for that was left as a clue to the reader in the rest of the article, when I talk about how space between stuff is expanding, space itself is expanding , making everything accelerate away faster away from each other, so even though its been only 13.7 billion years since the big bang, the far away stars have moved further away from us by the time the light reached us, so the total time that light took to reach you could be 40 something billion years for very very young stars of the universe whose light just managed to make it to earth.

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